1. Understanding the challenges of networking in Quebec



A presentation of MONTREAL 5A7’s networking dossier is available as an introduction.


Understanding the importance of networking in Quebec is to start in advance with the right basics. We must imagine our network as an irrigation system that will allow us to cultivate our cranberry farm. And we have to imagine ourselves as a stream that contributes in its turn to support the fields of others.

There exists a multitude of solutions and tools to network but it is with the spotlight on these two fundamental ideas that we would like to approach the subject :


To be recognized vs. being known


To be recognized for our skills, our qualities, our experience : this is an undeniable asset before embarking on a new step professionally. This is that we generally put forward: the objectives that we had to attain and the means that we put into place in order realize them.

However, in a world of competition but also a certain uniformization of qualified skills, the right diploma and know-how don’t always suffice.

This holds even truer in Quebec, where companies do not content themselves with adding a competent person: they are, above all, attached to men and women who will need to work in harmony with their collaborators and share their values, interests, and passions.


Placing the Person at the heart of their project


To be known personally, from one to another. The difference could well play out on this terrain.

We speak of our neighbor next-door, at the adjoining table at the restaurant, at the counter of our favorite cafe. We speak of volunteers and patrons that we meet within an association. We speak of the famous information meetings solicited by people with whom we share a path, tastes, ambitions.

And we speak, naturally, of encounters made during events organized for this purpose.


We often say to a new arrival in Quebec that no one is waiting for them. That they will have to start over at zero and prove themselves. The famous first experience in Canada that, whatever it is, will be perceived as beginning to prove our integration by our actions. But the new arrival will always be surprised by the welcome reserved for them in Quebec : no one is closed to a new encounter, to a sharing of advice, and to the introduction to other contacts. It is simply incumbent upon us to make the first step.


It is not by chance if that which we name (with a certain mischief) 5-à-7s (or happy hour) and other business networking events have so much success in Montreal, Quebec, or elsewhere. As underlined by Olivier Ouillé, we rarely recommend a business : we recommend people. H2H instead of and in place of the old concepts of B2B, of B2C – and finally of all other relations, of business or private life. This is a trend signifying a return to simplicity, one might say of the conviviality of the person. In opposition to the avatar or the pseudonym?

In the end, whether we come from Belgium or Saskatchewan, the first thing we retain about a person, is the person themselves : who we are, in opposition to what we are or what we do. All the little things that a resumé or our Linkedin profile are incapable of transmitting.

Yet, this is the interest of direct networking between people. Of getting closer, of affect, of emotions, of personal history and the sharing of it, as instantaneous as it is spontaneous, in an extra professional setting which de facto puts everyone on an equal footing.

In the same vein, we understand the success of certain team consolidation efforts that don’t hesitate to play with a redistribution of cards and to put their collaborators in a situation of interdependence, outside of their habitual bearings and relations. That doesn’t hesitate to shake them up1.


Getting out of our comfort zone, precisely. An expression often used to describe this movement, this step we take toward others. An expression to take in its most literal sense.

Getting out of our comfort zone, is to start by simply getting out.



  1. See for instance the challenge programs offered by the Montreal-based company Esprit de Corps

MONTREAL 5A7’s networking dossier : Presentation


The mission of MONTREAL 5A7 is to answer certain issues raised by the constitution and enrichment of your business network.  This is a subject that many have dealt with, to the point where one could say that what hasn’t already been said has already been written.


So how is it in our interest to offer you a series of articles about networking? For one simple reason: because we want to fully assume our role of network facilitator and to accompany our approach with our own tools, our take on practices in Quebec.


The question of networking isn’t reserved for one type of person: we all take an interest in it, whether we are

  • an individual searching for new professional challenges (employed or not),
  • a business looking for new clients,
  • a recruiter on the lookout for new talent,
  • an entrepreneur wishing to develop partnerships,
  • an astute investor,
  • an expert, someone passionate about community interest. . .

And so on, and so forth.


A network is not fixed, nor acquired: we work on it and take care of it at all stages in its life, whether we judge our business fine as it is, or on the contrary, whether we have no other choice than to develop it to build an audience or after going through a difficult period.

What must be understood is that networking is not a call for aid: it is an exchange of interests and services in which the reciprocity nourishes a sense of mutual trust.


Building a network is a subtle art that demands time, attention, good listening skills, the giving of yourself and respect for the rules of good conduct. But not only.

It demands, above all, determination and patience. Overcoming your fears: those of the unknown and the perception of yourself by others. Those of not being worthy enough to assert yourself, or having enough to offer others. Those of finding yourself in the position of asker rather than giver. But also the overcoming of certain fixed conceptions : those, notably, of not seeing the use.


Among the tools that each of us possesses to enter into contact with others, MONTREAL 5A7 has taken the approach of adding value to a certain particular aspect of networking : that of a physical meeting during dedicated events through a broad spectrum encompassing but not limited to happy hour networking (the 5-à-7 in Montreal speak). Informal events, conferences, ateliers, round tables or salons, are practices some can’t get enough of but are confounding to others.


Starting now, in our objective to allow the greatest number to access networking events that we list on this site, newcomers (and those that are thinking of it), the reluctant, people encountering difficulty in finding employment, we are happy to initiate the realization of a thematic dossier which has a simple objective :

to demystify networking practices and instill confidence in those who doubt their capacity or their interest to act.


25 $ discount for this course using the promotional code : MONTREAL5A7

This is the ideal course for those who want to learn how to use a data visualization tool and the basics of graphics grammar. You will discover the basic concepts and techniques of Tableau Desktop in data visualization and dashboard. You will learn how to achieve efficient visualizations and basic dashboards.


Exclusive methodology, put into practice in universities and colleges, and now available for businesses: it relies on games, creativity and teamwork. You know Mega Bloks® or Lego®. Did you know they are fantastic tools for graphics representation!


MONTREAL 5A7 present at momomo


The Mobile Monday concept started in Helsinki, Finland with the idea to bring the members of the mobile industry, including academics and businesses, together in an open forum to discuss ideas and to network. This session was focus on Mobile Retail and Payments.

Nice event in a special place : Google Montreal

mosaic HEC Montreal

5@8 MosaiC HEC Montréal

Yesterday evening a very pleasant 5@8 with Cercle HEC Montreal took place on the theme of innovative communities.

Innovative communities are increasingly seen as a unique means to foster open innovation, for organizations as well as territories.

Following an introduction from Frederic Touvard about Renault’s Innovation Community, Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon presented general concepts and the state of knowledge on the topic.

MONTREAL 5A7 noted 4 key points:

– create rendez-vous spaces for the community,

– elaborate common projects,

– develop new ideas and original concepts,

– create events.

Finally, students benefiting from the ETS Management Summer School scholarship on innovation & creation 2014, presented what an innovative community implies for the Montreal Quartier d’Innovation (QI).

As usual, a great amount of time was then spent on networking.

The Montreal 5A7 team.

La ruche

5@7 inauguration La Ruche MTL

Bringing together actors from social entrepreneurship is a great initiative, in the beginning of 2015 #LaRucheMTL will open its doors and offer a co-working space with an acceleration program.

Today was the inaugural 5@7 of the future space in the Rosemont neighborhood, with the presence of the Kongossa association who are currently organizing the week for social innovation and technology in Montreal.

Bravo to Samuel Gervais and his team for making this project full of hope a reality, and thanks for the support of the Institut du Nouveau Monde!

potloc mtlnewtech

Potloc à MTL NewTech

Hier soir, mardi 7 Octobre, nous avons été convié à venir pitcher notre start-up, Potloc, à l’évènement MTL NewTech qui avait lieu à McGill. Le thème de la soirée était « Les villes intelligentes »: quatre start-ups étaient donc conviées (Provender, Navut, Transit App et nous) et Francis Gosselin de f.&co est venu nous parler des mandats de co-design qu’il a réalisés pour la ville de Montréal.

Mis à part le fait que, mon associé ayant eu une soudaine extinction de voix,  nous ayons dû bouleverser nos plans à la dernière minute pour que je pitche seul, la soirée s’est très bien déroulée. On a été impressionné à la fois par le niveau très élevé des présentations de nos co-pitcheurs et de f.&co ainsi que par le niveau des questions du public, visant toujours juste.

A suivi un cocktail de réseautage à l’ambiance conviviale dans les locaux de McGill. J’ai pu échanger avec plusieurs personnes très intéressantes notamment François Bergeron de Innovitech, les journalistes Julien Brault et Tracey Lindeman ainsi que Mourtala Sahla du Ministère de l’Economie et de l’Innovation.

En bref, un très bon évènement de réseautage comme en témoignent les très nombreux tweets au hastag #MTLnewtech En tout cas, MTL NewTech peut compter sur nous pour ses prochains évènements !

Merci à Amanda, Heri, Ilias, Chris et Amine

Rodolphe, co-fondateur de Potloc


MONTREAL 5A7 your networking partner

Entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and newcomers; networking is key for business success in Quebec. MONTREAL 5A7 wants to partner with serious networkers and event organizers to help make your business a success.

You will find here selected eventswhich we have identified and are related to business topics (networking, cocktails, conferences, 5@76@8, breakfast, lunch, diners, drinks, discussions,…).

MONTREAL 5A7 is proposing to target and plan your business networking activities according to your availability, your interests and to share your post event experience. More than a directory, MONTREAL 5A7 is a forum, join us and stay updated on the new services we will launch for the community’s benefits.

You are a business event organizer (clubs, professional organizations, associations, companies, etc); MONTREAL 5A7 allows you to increase your event visibility and reach a targeted audience for which your area of interest is a priority.

See you soon !